“A west-side run that rewards with stellar views of the divide, Grand and Shadow Mountain Lakes.”
— Brian Smith
Birding · Fall Colors · Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Visit an early fire lookout resting near the summit of Shadow Mountain and experience a fantastic view of Shadow Mountain Lake, Grand Lake, and Lake Granby. This run can
be accessed from either the Grand Lake or Shadow Mountain Dam trailheads for
the East Shore Trail
Need to Know
A small fee is required for parking in the Arapaho National Recreation Area.
Follow the East Inlet Trail
to the south along the eastern shore of Shadow Mountain Lake. This is a mostly flat trail that offers serene views across the lake. Just under two miles from the TH, you'll reach a junction with the Shadow Mountain Trail
. Turn left and start up the Shadow Mountain Trail
. The trail contours up the western flank of Shadow Mountain at a very manageable grade. Fairly continuous dense forest make this a trail with with fairly limited views. Every so often, you'll catch a glimpse of Grand or Shadow Mountain Lake through the canopy.
Eventually, you'll reach a sign that directs you to the fire tower. Follow the trail to the fire tower and climb the tower for stunning panoramic views. To the west, the Never Summer Range dominates the horizon. You'll also have great views of Grand, Shadow Mountain and Granby Lakes from the tower.
From here, retrace your steps back to the TH.